Renzo Piano's project is a three-story rectangular glass volume, equipped with a "flying carpet" - an aluminum canopy over the upper level galleries. The architect's goal was to give his building an impression of lightness in order to contrast it with the main building of the Institute, a model of neoclassicism of 1893.
The new wing will increase the area of the museum by one third (24,500 sq. M.). It will house a collection of contemporary art, including photography, video art, architectural collections, and an educational center. The galleries themselves are an example of a free layout, which will allow the visitor to choose the route of the inspection himself, and the curators of the exhibitions can easily install and remove the partitions.
The structure will be closely connected with the nearby new Millennium Park - both through the urban planning concept (the entrance to the Piano building is located on the axis of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, built in the park by the project of Frank Gehry), and physically: a pedestrian bridge made of stainless steel, wood and glass in the form of a "knife blade" will connect the park with the restaurant on the roof of the museum and the open-air sculpture gallery located there.
The $ 258 million construction is due to be completed in spring 2009.